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Just like us humans, dogs can experience that tight and itchy skin feeling in the colder months. With summer now over, you may be wondering how you can treat your dog’s dry skin during the colder weather.
Luckily, at WOOOF, we have got you covered. We have done the research, so you don’t have to! In this article, you'll discover why your dog gets dry skin in winter, the warning signs, and ways to treat it.
Winter brings dry air and low humidity levels both outdoors and indoors. This is highly drying for the skin and so is mainly to blame for your dog’s dry skin during the colder months.
In the summer, humid air makes the skin’s outer layer more permeable, so the skin absorbs water from the air. However, low humidity in the winter has the opposite effect. Moisture from the skin is drawn into the environment during a process known as Transepidemal Water Loss (TEWL) which is what causes your dog’s dry skin.
When the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) becomes dehydrated, it turns fragile and more susceptible to harm. This leads to inflammatory and allergic dermatitis. Damaged skin barriers like this are also much more sensitive to everyday irritants like fragrances and dust mites. Dogs who are sensitive to indoor allergens such as dust mites and mould may have worse symptoms during the winter as they are indoors more often.
Your first instinct when you spot these symptoms may be to increase the number of baths your dog has to keep their skin clean and moisturised.
However, over-bathing can actually make your dog’s dry skin worse! This is because over-bathing will remove natural oils and dry out their skin even more. Plus, your go-to doggy shampoos and conditioners could be causing further irritation to your dog’s dry skin. Instead, aim to bath your dog every 4-6 weeks.
Now you know the causes and symptoms, how can you go about treating your dog’s dry skin?
The ideal home humidity level is between 40% and 60%. If your home is too dry in winter, consider getting a humidifier to help your dog's dry skin. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and reduce your pup’s need to scratch! If you are also a dry skin sufferer, then it will be your first defence against it too!
Keeping your furry pal hydrated is crucial to ensure they have a healthy skin and coat. This is especially true if they are on a dry kibble diet.
Dry food like kibble does not contain enough moisture so can be quite dehydrating for your dog. Fortunately, you can easily add moisture to dry food to promote good skin health. For example, products like Furr Boost are packed with nutrients and can be included in your dog’s mealtime to ensure they stay hydrated. You can also warm up these doggy smoothies to create a healthy soup for your dog in the winter.
Pawer Water is another hydrating supplement for dogs that is packed with active ingredients to boost hydration and wellness.
We also recommend food toppers such as Maxbone’s Energy Topper for Dogs which can be added to the top of your dog’s regular food to provide more nutritional value. It’s hypoallergenic and great for your dog’s dry skin.
Regular grooming should also be part of your daily routine to care for your beloved fur baby. It’s especially important during seasonal changes! Daily dog brushing reduces shedding and removes skin surface bacteria that can cause irritation to your dog's dry skin.
The Double-Sided Eco Bamboo Dog Brush helps separate tangled/matted hair and lifts up dirt and dust. Use the sisal bristle side of the brush to make your dog's coat extra soft and cuddly after brushing.
Good nutrition is key to ensure your dog is happy and healthy! Including anti-inflammatory omega-3 supplements in your dog's meals can greatly improve their dry skin and coat.
If your dog is currently on a dry kibble diet, then it’s likely they are not getting the recommended daily requirement of fatty acid. This is why it’s a good idea to add some Omega-3 into your dog’s life. To find out more about the benefits of Omega-3, hop over to our latest Omega-3 Ingredient Deep Dive!
Of course, always remember to contact your vet before making any changes to your furry friend’s diet! After getting your vet's approval, explore two of the top omega-3 rich oils we offer below.
Got an itch? Not anymore! We hope that this article has helped you prepare for the winter months. Dog sensitive shampoos, conditioners, and sprays are the best option to make sure that your dog's dry skin is not irritated.
Adding supplements such as Omega-3 or hydration smoothies into their diet can also help aid dry and itchy skin by keeping your pooch hydrated and happy.